Ordinary Parental Leave

Eligible employees can take unpaid Ordinary Parental Leave to look after their child’s welfare, e.g. to:

  • Spend more time with their children
  • Look at new schools
  • Settle children into new childcare arrangements
  • Spend more time with family – e.g. visiting grandparents

Their employment rights (like the right to pay, holidays and returning to a job) are protected during Ordinary Parental Leave. From 5th April 2015, Ordinary Parental Leave will be available up to a child’s 18th birthday (currently there is a 5 year age limit).

There are no other amendments to Ordinary Parental Leave and it remains the case that:

  • In order to be eligible, an employee must have worked continuously for at least one year by the time they wish to take ordinary parental leave
  • Providing they are eligible, each parent has a separate entitlement to take Ordinary Parental Leave – unlike Shared Parental Leave, this right is not transferable
  • An eligible employee has the right to take parental leave for each child; it’s not shared between all of their children
  • An employee may take up to 18 weeks of Ordinary Parental Leave in total, but only a maximum of four weeks in any one year
  • An employee must give at least 21 days’ notice of their intention to take Ordinary Parental Leave (in writing)

It is worth noting that Ordinary Parental Leave is an unpaid statutory right.

References: ACAS website, Gov.uk website.

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